August 1, 2019
Are These Secret Allergy Symptoms Affecting Your Life?
Many people think that allergies just cause sneezing and itchy eyes. However, seasonal allergies can cause many other symptoms and side effects. Here are some hidden allergy symptoms and side effects that may secretly influence your quality of life.
What are allergies?
Allergies are a common condition that occur when the immune system reacts to a substance that is typically harmless. These substances, called allergens, can be found in a variety of things such as food, pollen, dust, or pet dander. When the immune system identifies an allergen, it produces antibodies that trigger the release of histamine and other chemicals in the body.
This can cause a range of unknown allergy symptoms, including sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, hives, or swelling. Allergies can be mild or severe and can develop at any age. While there is no cure for allergies, they can be managed with medication, avoidance of allergens, and long-term allergy treatments.
Hidden allergies can cause a range of symptoms, including rashes, hives, or respiratory problems. In some cases, people may not even be aware that their symptoms are related to allergies.
Most common unknown allergy symptoms
Unknown allergy symptoms can be a cause of concern for many people. Allergies can manifest in a variety of ways and sometimes the symptoms can be confusing or unexpected. For instance, some people may experience:
- Headaches or migraines
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Post nasal drip
- Brain fog
Others may experience worse symptoms, especially during an anaphylactic reaction such as:
- Swollen tongue or throat
Skin symptoms like eczema or hives can also be a sign of an allergic reaction. In some cases, people may not even be aware that their symptoms are related to allergies. It is important to seek medical advice if you are experiencing any unusual symptoms that you suspect may be related to allergies. An allergist can help determine the underlying cause of your symptoms and provide appropriate treatment options. By identifying and managing your allergies, you can improve your quality of life and reduce the risk of complications.
Long-term effects of allergies
There can be long-term effects of allergies that you might not be aware of. That’s the thing about allergies, they can affect almost every part of your life, it isn’t just a passive illness.
Physical Symptoms of Allergies
Besides sneezing and itchy eyes, other symptoms could indicate you have allergies.
Allergies and Headaches
There is a well-established link between allergies and headaches. Allergic reactions can cause inflammation in the nasal passages and sinuses, which can lead to pressure and pain in the head. This can cause a range of headache symptoms, including migraines, tension headaches, and sinus headaches. In addition, allergies can also trigger other symptoms that can contribute to headaches, such as fatigue, congestion, and eye strain. For people with chronic headaches, it is important to consider the role of allergies in their symptoms. By managing your allergies effectively, you can reduce the frequency and severity of your headaches.
Allergies and Depression
Research has shown that there is a link between allergies and depression. Allergic reactions can cause a range of physical symptoms, such as fatigue, sleep disturbances, and pain, which can contribute to feelings of sadness and hopelessness. In addition, allergies can also affect the brain directly by triggering inflammation and altering neurotransmitter levels. This can lead to changes in mood, behavior, and cognition. Potential signs of depression or anxiety from sleep problems include nervousness or irritability, reduced interest in favorite activities, and feelings of sadness or hopelessness. These feelings could harm your relationships and social life. Children with sleep disturbances may have behavior problems or decreased school performance.
People with allergies are more likely to experience depression and anxiety than those without allergies.
Poor mental performance and “brain fog”
If your allergy medications make you drowsy, or you experience a lack of sleep because of your symptoms, you may experience fatigue and have difficulty concentrating. As a result, you may become less productive at work or school. This can lead to stress that further affects performance, creating a vicious cycle. Many people with allergy problems also deal with “brain fog.” This usually means a combination of fatigue, dizziness, imbalance, and reduced concentration.
Allergies and chronic fatigue syndrome
It’s hard to get a good night’s sleep when you have sneezing, coughing, headaches, or a runny nose. Congestion makes breathing difficult at night, causing you to wake up early or struggle to get to sleep in the first place. This can also reduce the amount of oxygen your body gets, which can affect both mental and physical performance.
There is a growing body of evidence that suggests a link between allergies and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Allergic reactions can cause a range of physical symptoms, such as fatigue, sleep disturbances, and pain, which can contribute to the development of CFS. In addition, allergies can also affect the immune system and disrupt the body's natural sleep rhythms, which can contribute to chronic fatigue. An allergist can help identify the specific allergens that are triggering your symptoms and develop a treatment plan to manage them.
Increased risk of infections
An ongoing lack of sleep because of allergies also may weaken your immune system and make your body less prepared to fight off infections. It may take longer for the inflammation caused by allergies to heal. This could lead to upper respiratory infection or a sinus infection (sinusitis). Fluid buildup in the ears also could cause pain and lead to the development of ear infections. There is also a potential link between allergies and yeast infections. Yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of the fungus Candida, which can be triggered by a variety of factors, including changes in the immune system and hormonal imbalances. If left untreated, these infections can cause serious health risks.
Allergies and Chronic Bronchitis
While some allergies may cause a minor cough once in a while, it can also become a long-term nuisance if you don’t manage them appropriately. Acute bronchitis from a virus or bacteria usually goes away in a few weeks, but chronic bronchitis from allergies can linger for much longer. This can cause fatigue and further sleep disruptions. It can also put strain on your lungs and increase your risk of lung infections. There is a link between allergies and chronic bronchitis, which is a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) characterized by inflammation and narrowing of the airways. Allergic reactions due to triggers such as dust, pollen, or smoke can cause inflammation in the airways, which can make them more susceptible to infections and other irritants that can lead to chronic bronchitis.
In addition, allergy symptoms can worsen chronic bronchitis and make it more difficult to manage. These symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
People with allergies are more likely to develop chronic bronchitis than those without allergies. It is important to seek medical advice if you are experiencing symptoms of chronic bronchitis related to your allergies. An allergist can help identify the specific allergens that are triggering your symptoms and develop a treatment plan to manage them. This may include medication and lifestyle changes to reduce exposure to allergens. By managing your allergies effectively, you can reduce the risk of complications such as chronic bronchitis and improve your overall respiratory health.
Hidden food allergies
Hidden food allergies are food allergies that are not immediately obvious and can be difficult to identify. They occur when the body's immune system reacts to a particular food or food additive, causing a range of symptoms that can be mild to severe. Hidden food allergies can be dangerous because they can go undetected for a long time, causing chronic health problems and potentially life-threatening reactions.
Symptoms of food allergies can include:
- Abdominal pain
- Difficulty breathing
In severe cases, anaphylaxis can occur, which is a life-threatening reaction that requires immediate medical attention. An allergist can help identify the specific food allergens that are triggering your symptoms and develop a treatment plan to manage them. This may include medication, dietary changes, and emergency treatment such as epinephrine auto-injectors.
What to do if you have these symptoms
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms related to allergies, you’re not alone: an estimated 67 million Americans suffer from allergies.
If you are experiencing allergy symptoms such as sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose, or skin rash, it is important to seek medical advice from an allergist. An allergist can help identify the specific allergens that are triggering your symptoms and develop a treatment plan to manage them. This may include medication such as:
- Nasal corticosteroids
- Immunotherapy (allergy shots)
- Lifestyle changes to reduce exposure to allergens
In addition, an allergist can help you develop an emergency plan in case of a severe allergic reaction, which may include carrying an epinephrine auto-injector and knowing when to use it. It is important to take allergy symptoms seriously, as they can significantly impact your quality of life and lead to complications if left untreated.
If you are experiencing allergy symptoms, there are several lifestyle adjustments you can make to reduce your exposure to allergens and manage your symptoms. Here are some tips:
- Keep your home clean: Regularly clean your home to reduce the amount of dust, pet dander, and other allergens that can accumulate. Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, dust and vacuum frequently, and wash bedding and curtains regularly.
- Use air conditioning: Use air conditioning in your home and car to filter out pollen and other allergens. Change your air filters regularly and consider using a HEPA air filter.
- Minimize outdoor exposure: Try to stay indoors during peak allergy season, especially on windy days when pollen counts are high. If you need to go outside, wear sunglasses and a hat to protect your eyes and face.
- Avoid allergenic foods: If you have food allergies, avoid the foods that trigger your symptoms. Read food labels carefully and ask about ingredients when eating out.
- Manage stress: Stress can worsen allergy symptoms, so try to manage your stress levels through relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga.
These lifestyle adjustments can help reduce your exposure to allergens and manage your allergy symptoms. However, if your symptoms persist or are severe, it is important to seek medical advice from an allergist.
Why you should get tested for allergies
Allergy testing is an important tool in identifying the underlying cause of allergies. It is a safe and effective way to determine which allergens are triggering your symptoms. There are different types of allergy testing, including skin tests and blood tests, which can help identify a wide range of allergens. By identifying the specific allergens that are causing your symptoms, you can take steps to avoid them and reduce your exposure. This may include lifestyle changes, such as avoiding certain foods or using hypoallergenic products, or medical treatments such as immunotherapy (allergy shots) or medication. Allergy testing is particularly important for people with severe or chronic allergies, as it can help prevent complications and improve their quality of life. If you suspect you have allergies, it is important to seek medical advice and consider allergy testing to determine the underlying cause of your symptoms. An allergist can help develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs and help you manage your allergies effectively.
How Aspire Allergy & Sinus Can Help
At Aspire Allergy & Sinus, we understand how frustrating and debilitating allergy symptoms can be. That's why we offer comprehensive allergy testing and treatment options to help you manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Our team of experienced allergists will help you identify the specific allergens that are triggering your symptoms. Based on your individual needs, we develop a personalized treatment plan that may include medication, immunotherapy (allergy shots), or lifestyle changes to reduce exposure to allergens. Our goal is to help you achieve long-term relief from your allergy symptoms and improve your overall health and well-being.
Don't let allergy symptoms hold you back any longer. Book your appointment today and take the first step towards managing your allergies and improving your quality of life.